Nuclear power is, for some, the black sheep of the low-carbon energy family. On the one hand you’ve got the “greens”: wind, solar, hydro. All of them are exceedingly clean, or at least, they seem so. As clean as a cool breeze, as a sunny day, as a rushing river. Then you’ve got nuclear. That cold-war harkening cousin of the low-carbon family. People cling to horror stories, which is why the disaster at Chernobyl and more recently at Fukushima are so compelling. Several environmental groups, such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, have loudly spoken out against the use of nuclear power. But for all of that, there is a large scientific stance claiming that without embracing nuclear, we don’t stand a chance of meeting the targets we’ve set ourselves to avoid cataclysmic climate change.
The Week 25th Feb 2017 read more »
Nuclear appears to be back in vogue. Here at home, after a protracted debate, work is about to start on a new fleet of nuclear plants that could in the future provide as much as 35 per cent of the UK’s electricity. Huge construction programmes are already going on in the developing world. China is currently, in some form, planning no fewer than around 200 nuclear power plants, while India is busy going about ensuring 25 per cent of its energy is supplied via nuclear fission by 2050. Alongside environmental concerns, a key consideration in relation to nuclear is political in nature and to do with energy security. But what do we mean by the term ‘energy security’ – and why is it so important in the nuclear debate?
The Week 10th Mar 2017 read more »
The Energy Policy Group (EPG) of the University of Exeter is pleased to respond to Ofgem’s Call for Evidence (CfE) on Future arrangements for the electricity system operator. Issues of innovation and governance within energy systems form a major focus for EPG research, and in particular the four-year RCUK funded project Innovation and Governance for a Secure and Sustainable Economy (IGov, 2012-2016), which has now been extended to become Innovation and Governance for Future Energy Systems (IGov2, 2016-2019). Many of our arguments below have come out of the IGov work.
IGov 10th March 2017 read more »